I’ve been charged with Careless Use or Storage of a Firearm. What do I need to know?

2. Understand what the Crown has to prove

In every criminal case, the Crown must prove at least four things:

  1. Identity: you're the person who committed the crime.
  2. Jurisdiction: this is the correct court to deal with your case. For example, if you're charged with something you did when you were under 18, you should be in a youth court.
  3. Date: the crime took place when the police say it did.
  4. Elements of the crime.

The elements of the crime of Careless Use or Storage of a Firearm are:

  • You are in control of a gun, weapon, or ammunition. This means that you are the one who controls where the item is, even if you don't have it with you right now.
  • You did one of these things with the gun, weapon, or ammunition:
    • used it unsafely
    • put it somewhere unsafe
    • didn't take reasonable precautions with it

Proof beyond a reasonable doubt

The judge can only find you guilty if they are certain about everything the Crown must prove. That means the Crown must prove identity, jurisdiction, date, and every element of the crime.

If the judge is not completely sure about even one of these things, the judge cannot find you guilty. This is known as “proof ”.

It is not enough for the judge to think that you're probably guilty, or that you're likely guilty. They must be certain about everything the Crown must prove.

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